Good News Israel Archive from the week of November 8, 2015: Israel is the world’s sixth healthiest country; Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel took the top spot in the Middle East and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Early warning for secondary cancer
Israel Technion’s Assistant Professor Dr. Daphne Weihs has developed a unique biomechanical method for the early detection of metastatic (secondary) cancer – a cancer that has already spread. It can also identify where the cancer has spread to and enable early treatment.
New imaging method for gallbladder removal
BioDesign students at Hadassah Medical Center / Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led by Dr. Muhammad Adileh, have developed “CholeVision” – a fiber-optic illumination system to reduce injuries caused during laparoscopic (keyhole) procedures to remove gallbladders.
Successful trial of foot ulcer treatment
Biotech Izun successfully completed a Phase II trial of its Israeli-developed IZN-6D4 to treat diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) in 82 patients at seven centers in Israel. DFU is responsible for 84% of diabetes-related lower-leg amputations.
How proteins grow
A team of Israeli and US researchers has mapped out the fundamental dynamic that explains the production and distribution of proteins in a cell.
The world’s 6th healthiest country
Israel is the sixth-healthiest country in the world and is the only Middle Eastern country in the top 10, according to recent world health rankings by media outlet Bloomberg. Singapore was first, followed by Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Japan. The UK is 21st and the US 33rd.
25% of blood donations are from IDF soldiers
A total of 68,500 units of blood – 25 percent of the total donated to Magen David Adom last year – were given by soldiers. Whilst handing out certificates, MDA blood services director Eilat Shinar said “You officers and soldiers are an example for pure and significant giving”.
FDA approves focused ultrasound treatment
The US FDA has approved the next generation Exablate system from Israel’s InSightec to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids. Exablate uses focused ultrasound plus MRI, which is used to guide the ultrasound waves to the specific target tissue. Also (TY UWI) a video of Israeli doctors using InSightec’s Exablate Neuro ultrasound to cure Essential Tremor.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Teaching top math skills to deprived kids
Israel’s Tovanot B’Chinuch program enrolls volunteers from hi-tech, the IDF, and business to help kids learn math and develop study habits. The program focuses on children from poorer families, even providing sandwiches to ensure they have sufficient nutrition to concentrate.
Abbas’s brother-in-law gets life-saving heart surgery in Israel
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s brother-in-law underwent life-saving heart surgery at the Assuta Medical Center in northern Tel Aviv’s Ramat Hachayal neighborhood. The surgery was successful and he was said to be recovering in intensive care.
Jordanian plane makes emergency landing in Tel Aviv
A Royal Jordanian Airbus 320 from Dubai in the UAE to Amman made an emergency landing at Ben-Gurion Airport due to poor weather and low fuel. The UAE has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Airport staff gave passengers snacks while they waited to take off.
Israeli medics help Romania treat fire victims
Specialist Israeli doctors are in Romania to help treat some of the 140 victims of burns sustained in a Bucharest nightclub fire that killed at least 27 others. The Israeli team brought a product called NexoBrid, which replaces surgery in severe burn cases.
Tel Aviv and Berlin sign game-changing agreement
The cities of Tel Aviv and Berlin have launched a startup exchange program. They will be offering free co-working spaces, advice on visas, regulations and legal issues as well as one-on-one mentoring assistance for interested startups.
Israe21c launches in Spanish
ISRAEL21c has launched its new Spanish-language site, ISRAEL21c Español. Some 400 million people speak Spanish, and it’s important that they also hear about Israel’s extraordinary accomplishments. Please pass this site onto any Spanish-speaking friends, relatives and colleagues.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
New lightweight satellites
Israel Aerospace Industries has built a new communications satellite, weighing only 1.5-2 tons – less than half a regular communications satellite. AMOS E will provide communications services including TV broadcasts and broadband Internet. IAI is also building 400kg EROS C.
Catching fraudulent behavior
Another article about Israel’s BioCatch (featured here) which can detect someone trying to hack into your on-line bank account even when they use the right password.
An app to learn to play piano
Here is another innovative app from Israel’s JoyTunes. Place your iPhone or iPad on the piano and the Simply Piano app will teach you how to play it. It’s like going to a music teacher. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4714688,00.html
Israel’s first hi-tech kindergarten
Israel’s first Science Kindergarten opened in Beersheba, equipped with advanced computer equipment, Lego sets to develop motor skills, robotics activities, and activities to stimulate interest in space matters. Skills that the 5-year-olds will learn include physics, astronomy, and math.
Nano Bible donated to Smithsonian
Peretz Lavie, President of Israel’s Technion, has presented the world’s smallest Bible to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Technion scientists engraved the Nano Bible’s 1.2 million letters on a gold-plated silicon chip the size of a sugar grain.
China-Israel water city project begins
Israel and China have signed an agreement with China’s Greatwall Enterprise Institute (GEI) for the $200,000 planning phase of the Shouguang, China Water City project. GEI will consult with Israeli partners Tefen and work involving Israeli water companies could commence mid-2016.
R&D agreement with Colorado
Israel has signed a deal with the US state of Colorado to further increase R&D cooperation. Under the agreement, start-ups and veteran firms will receive funding from either or both governments for research and development projects in areas including energy, agriculture and cybersecurity.
Seeing is believing
This reporter from The Hindu visited Israel and saw Oranges and Jojoba plants growing straight out of desert sand.
Israel: The Water Exporters
Recent video of how India can learn from Israeli water recycling and desalination expertise.
If Israel can do it, why can’t California?
California is still facing a huge water crisis. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit conducted a 3-month investigation on Israel, a country that faced its own water crisis about a decade ago. Now Israel has more fresh water than it can use.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel’s budget deficit lowers again
Israel’s aggregate budget deficit in the past 12 months (October 2014-September 2015) amounted to 2% of GDP. The deficit from Jan to Sep 2015 was NIS 3.8 billion compared to NIS 10.9 billion in the same period of 2014.
Israel’s impressive economy
I just had to include this link to a very positive review of Israel’s economy.
An Israeli rival to iTunes and Google Play Music
Israel’s TriPlay has acquired eMusic – one of the first digital music services – and its 25 catalog of songs. eMusic can be accessed on over 14 platforms via the web and apps.
The best bar in the Middle East (again)
The Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar, on Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Street won the title of best bar in the Mideast and Africa for the second year running, beating out Zuma in Dubai. Also, Tel Aviv’s Tasting Room won the Middle East & Africa Bar category at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.
The best hotel in the Middle East
Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel took the top spot in the Middle East and seventh place worldwide in Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
Tel Aviv fashion week successful
Over 1200 people attended each of the eight fashion shows on every day of Tel Aviv fashion week. Even shows by relatively unknown young Israeli designers were fully booked. There was also publicity for Israeli fashion tech startups such as Julbox, WiShi, Donde and Nettelo.
MassChallenge to set up in Jerusalem
MassChallenge, the world’s largest start-up accelerator, is setting up shop in Jerusalem – the only other foreign location other than London chosen for the honor. “Israel is an outstanding and growing hub for entrepreneurship,” said MassChallenge founder and CEO John Harthorne.
Invest in a drone
Israeli startup Pixtier offers an opportunity for owners of drones (UAVs) to upload 2D photographs taken, to the Cloud where Pixtier’s software will turn them into 3D maps. These are then available to real estate agents, city planners, researchers, etc. who pay a fee that Pixtier share with drone owners.
“Silicon Valley in the Sky”
El Al’s “Cockpit” startup incubator has just been voted “Best Achievement in Passenger Experience 2015” by the Airline Passengers Experience Association (APEX). Some of the ideas and partnerships generated by the program include the SmartCover blanket and Shopnfly.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israel hosts “pianist of the century”
At 28, Russian-German pianist Igor Levit has been described as “the pianist of the century”. He won BBC Music Magazine and Royal Philharmonic Society awards in 2014. He has just been in Israel for five concerts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.
Israel visit helped make Helen Mirren
Academy Award, Tony Award and Emmy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren was honored with the Career Achievement Award at the 29th Israel Film Festival. She said her time working at an Israeli kibbutz shortly after the 1967 Six Day War helped make her the actress she is.
Israeli animation at its best
Israeli animators, comics, artists and cartoonists gathered recently at the 15th annual Animix Festival in Tel Aviv. Israeli animation and artwork is popular all around the world.
Tel Israel’s first street-art gallery
Israel has opened the Street Art Gallery in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Florentine back-alley graffiti scene. Its first exhibition entitled “Temporary Crew” showcased 13 artists with names such as Know Hope, Wonky and Signor Gi. The gallery plans to offer street art tours of the area.
Jerusalem street party
A reminder of the cosmopolitan nature of Israel’s capital city. This video was recorded just a few weeks ago.
Simply Red are coming to Tel Aviv
Simply Red last performed in Israel in 1992 in front of 50,000 fans. They are returning on Jun 14 2016 to perform at the Menora Mivtachim (formerly Nokia) Arena in Tel Aviv as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations.
Rare songbird arrives in Israel
50 years after their last autumn appearance in Israel, a flock of 30-40 blue-cheeked bee-eaters, including fledglings, flew over a group of ornithologists at the Yerucham Lake Park in the Negev. The bird experts played recordings of bee-eaters to attract the birds and managed to ring six of them.
Israeli amputee runs NYC marathon
Israel’s Adi Deutch lost his leg from a Lebanon landmine blast in 1979. In 2012 the US Friends of the IDF enrolled Adi in the Strides program and gave him an athletic prosthetic leg. Adi now runs triathlons, cycles, plays soccer, volleyball and just ran the New York Marathon.
THE JEWISH STATE
6000 “Likes” for Good News blog
Thanks to United With Israel for publishing my blog “What is Going On Between Arabs and Israelis?” It has received almost 6000 “Likes” on their site.
2200-year-old fortress found in Jerusalem
Israeli archeologists have discovered the site of the Acra, an ancient Greek citadel, built by Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes (215-164 BC) to control Jerusalem and the Jewish temple there during the Syrian-Greek rule over the Jews of Israel. The Acra is mentioned in both the Jewish Book of the Maccabees and by 1st Century AD historian Flavius Josephus. The site will open to the public prior to the Jewish festival of Chanukah, which celebrates the Jewish victory over Antiochus.
Her father slain, but policewoman saves terrorist
Arabs murdered Israeli policewoman Maya Stolero’s father, Alexander Levlovitz, just over a month ago. But it didn’t stop Stolero giving medical help to a Palestinian Arab who had attempted to stab an Israeli border policeman and was shot while being apprehended.
IDF used plasma to save terrorist
Israeli army medics used revolutionary (and expensive) battlefield plasma to save the life of a Palestinian Arab who had just stabbed a border policeman. The Arab had been shot, was suffering from multiple system failure and had already lost a lot of blood.
Totally Israeli wine
Researchers from Israel’s Ariel University have created a white wine made from grapes indigenous to Israel. They located a living sample of the Hamdani / Marawi grape species. Israel’s Recanati Winery in Emek Hefer then grew the grapes, and has now produced nearly 2,500 bottles of Marawi 2014. The wine was presented at the International Milan EXPO on October 18.
Egypt voted for Israel for the first time ever
In last week’s newsletter, I forgot to mention last week that Egypt voted for Israel to join the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It was the first time that Egypt has voted in favor of Israel at the UN since the Jewish State was founded.
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